One of nature’s miracle, cocoa is packed with healing qualities that is unknown to most people. In fact, cocoa is the healthiest known substance you can put into your body after water. Regular consumption of cocoa could give your body a life-saving medication of all time.
What Is Cocoa?
Cocoa is the low-fat constituent of the finely ground cacao beans, which are the fermented seeds of the cacao tree. These ground beans, also known as cocoa liquor or cocoa mass, contain cocoa butter, which is a non-dairy, naturally occurring fat present in cacao beans.
As per USDA, cocoa contains no cholesterol and is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. It is also rich in zinc, iron, and vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamin B6, E, and K. Moreover, it can provide your body with energy, dietary fibers, protein, and carbohydrate.
Plus, cocoa butter in ground beans has also been found to contain vitamin E, vitamin K, and fatty acids.
Here are some of the health benefits you can obtain when you regularly add cocoa to your diet:
It Is Rich In Antioxidants
Cocoa is one of the richest natural sources of polyphenols.
Polyphenols are naturally occurring antioxidants that are present in fruits, vegetables, wine tea, and chocolates. Along with other antioxidants, polyphenols help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow.
Moreover, flavonols, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, are also present in cocoa powder. It helps support blood vessel health and healthy circulation.
The two antioxidants mentioned above also help neutralize harmful free radicals and guard the body against cell damage and oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
May Provide Cancer-Protective Effects
Cocoa is loaded with flavonols which have anti-cancer properties. Studies have found that it can protect the cell from damage, induce cancer cell death, fight inflammation and help prevent the spread of cancer.
Can Promote Heart Health
Among the foods that contain polyphenols, cocoa is the one with the highest levels and can provide the greatest cardio-protection.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the primary killers of adults. The polyphenols found in cocoa can help reduce the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol) which is a major factor in the promotion of coronary disease, most notably stroke and heart attack. Moreover, polyphenols also prevent blood platelets from clumping together, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
When it comes to the heart benefits of cocoa, no heart drug of any kind comes even close to it.
May Help People With Asthma
Cocoa contains anti-asthmatic compounds, such as theobromine and theophylline.
Theobromine is similar to caffeine and may help with persistent coughing. On the other hand, theophylline helps your lungs dilate, your airways relax and decreases inflammation.
May Support Healthy Brain Function
According to studies, polyphenols, such as those found in cocoa, can improve your brain function and blood flow, thereby lowering your risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Meanwhile, flavonols are involved in the biochemical pathways that produce neurons and important molecules for the function of your brain. Furthermore, it also improves the level of nitric oxide in your blood, which relaxes and dilates your arteries and blood vessels and improves blood flow.
May Help Alleviate Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
According to studies, cocoa has anti-diabetic effects. The cocoa flavonols can reduce insulin sensitivity, improve blood sugar control, reduce inflammation in diabetic and nondiabetic people, and can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.